Brentano String Quartet and Dawn Upshaw

Dido Reimagined

October 01, 2022
Oct 01
Saturday 7:30 PM
Spaulding Auditorium 1h30m
Pre-Show Talk, 6:15 pm, Top of the Hop

A rethinking of Purcell's beloved opera that takes us into the inner psyche of the proud Queen of Carthage. Co-commissioned by the Hop.

22/23 Hop Presents

The Brentano String Quartet brings the doomed love story to life, starting the first half of the program with a contrasting, yet complimentary, mix of early English works for consort of viols and songs. The result is a luminous intimacy, beautifully private that the audience feels the privilege of eavesdropping on an undefended and vulnerable expression. And the culmination is Dido's famous lament, the intensely intimate plea confessed to a friend, as she relinquishes her hold on life.

The second half, co-commissioned by the Hop, sees Pulitzer-winning composer Melinda Wagner and librettist Stephanie Fleischmann breathe new life into Dido. They imagine her psyche, her vulnerability and her strength. Dawn Upshaw becomes Dido and explores Dido's raw honesty, allowing us to probe into the emotional richness inherent in her predicament.

Don't miss a pre-show talk with the artists at 6:15 pm in Top of the Hop.

Generously supported by the Marion and Frederick B. Whittemore '53, T'54 Distinguished Artist Series Fund, the Frank L. Harrington 1924 Fund No. 3, the Aires Family Fund for the Performing Arts and Linda and Frederick A. Roesch '60, T'61, P'88, P'90.

Brentano String Quartet
Mark Steinberg, violin
Serena Canin, violin
Misha Amory, viola
Nina Lee, cello

Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. Within a few years of its formation, the Quartet garnered the first Cleveland Quartet Award and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and was also honored in the UK with the Royal Philharmonic Award for Most Outstanding Debut. Since then, the Quartet has concertized widely, performing in the world's most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Konzerthaus in Vienna; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; and the Sydney Opera House. Since 2014, the Brentano Quartet has served as Artists-in-Residence at the Yale School of Music. They were formerly the Ensemble-in-Residence at Princeton University, and were twice invited to be the collaborative ensemble for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The Quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved," the intended recipient of his famous love confession.

Dawn Upshaw
Joining a rare natural warmth with a fierce commitment to the transforming communicative power of music,  Dawn Upshaw has achieved worldwide celebrity as a singer of opera and concert repertoire ranging from the sacred works of Bach to the freshest sounds of today. Her ability to reach to the heart of music and text has earned her both the devotion of an exceptionally diverse audience, and the awards and distinctions accorded to only the most distinguished of artists. In 2007, she was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation, the first vocal artist to be awarded the five-year "genius" prize, and in 2008 she was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Learn more about Dawn >


“luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism.”

The New York Times on the Brentano String Quartet

“Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding”

The London Independent on the Brentano String Quartet
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